When most people think IMAX, we think crazy stadium seating and a 70-foot screen. However, IMAX has recently been lending its name to smaller, digital projection theaters – theaters that some IMAX partners originally wanted to differentiate as “IMAX Digital.” But IMAX co-CEO Richard Gelfond rejected that idea, and now both the original, 70-foot+ IMAX screens and the new, smaller IMAX Digital screens are both being sold as IMAX, leading to some pissed off customers.
This is the position in which Imax is now putting customers who pay $15 to see Eagle Eye: The IMAX Experience at New York City’s new AMC Empire 25 IMAX digital theater, with its 28×58-foot (8.5×18 meter) screen. They see the IMAX name on the theater and have no idea until after their ticket has been torn and they walk into the auditorium that that screen is about the same size as the one in the adjacent 35mm auditorium, and less than a quarter the size of the one in the AMC Lincoln Square IMAX 15/70 theater, 26 blocks away. The screen in the older film theater is 76×98 feet (23×30 meters). [Above] is a graphic representation of the difference. [via LFExaminer's absurdly thorough article on the differences between the two]
One pissed off customer was Human Giant/Parks & Recreation comedian Aziz Ansari, who urged a boycott of “bullsh*t IMAX.”
At the AMC theatre this was my experience at guest services:
Aziz: Yes, I’d like my $5 back. I paid $5 extra for an IMAX screen and that’s not nearly as big as what I have known IMAX to be.
Guest Services: I can’t sir. Its IMAX quality picture and sound.
Aziz: But the screen isn’t big, that’s the whole reason I pay $5 more for IMAX.
Guest Services: Well sir, you watched the whole movie, you could have come out and we could have given you tickets to a different one.
Aziz: Why would I do that? I’d leave Star Trek, the movie I wanted to see and you’d give me a ticket for Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Oh yeah that’s fair! No, you need to give me the $5 back, its the principle of it. Can I see a manager?
Manager: Sir, we can’t refund the money, you saw the whole film.
Aziz: I don’t want $15, I just want $5 cause AMC lied about IMAX.
Manager: Sir, I can give you popcorn and a drink.
Aziz: I don’t want to go home and drink a nasty soda and eat nasty ass popcorn. I want my $5 back. Its not about the money, its the principle of the matter, ITS NOT IMAX.
Manager: Sorry, I can’t do anything.
Aziz: You know what Twitter is? I have 25,000 followers, I’m tell 25,000 people you run fake IMAX’s and that they should boycott AMC.
Manager: I don’t really care sir.
Aziz: Yeah, I wouldn’t care either if I worked here, but you know you are in the wrong! You should give me $5!!
Manager: SIR, I CAN GIVE YOU POPCORN AND A SODA.
Aziz: I DON’T LIKE POPCORN AND I DON’T LIKE SODA, I WANT MY $5!!!
Manager: Ok here’s two free passes. [via AzizisBored]
So bottom line, beware of fake IMAX. I also advocate using “Do you know what Twitter is?!” as an irate non-sequitir any time you receive poor customer service.
“Excuse me, ma’am, did you charge me for this refill?”
“Sorry, sir, there’s nothing I can do.”
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT TWITTER IS??!”
“Hello, Time Warner? Yeah, you charged me for ‘Bikini Disco Sluts 4′, and what I watched was very clearly a mislabeled ‘Bikini Disco Sluts 3.’ I demand a refund.”
“I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that.”
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT TWITTER IS??!”
“Dude, I said ‘extra jalapeños.’ What the hell is this?”
“Lo siento, señor. Soy muy pobre.”
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT TWITTER IS??!!?”